Menu Plan Monday ~ Dec 21st + giveaway!


It’s Christmas week!  Can it really be?  My goodness time flies doesn’t it!  I hope everyone is able to slow down and enjoy these next few days.  This afternoon the kids and I snuggled up to watch a Christmas movie while I crocheted away on an afghan I’ve been working on for forever.  It was so nice and I may or may not have fallen asleep for a few minutes in the middle of it 🙂

Do I have all my gifts wrapped?  Nope.  But I’m not worried about it because when your hubbie faces a job loss well there are just fewer presents to wrap.  In all honesty, it’s actually quite refreshing.  Most years we go way overboard and this year it’s been nice not having to fight the shopping crowds or stress whether or not we got all the kids an equal amount of gifts.  Just none of that matters to us this year.  What matters to me is reveling in the real reason for the season, the birth of our Savior, spending time with loved ones, relaxing by the fireplace, singing Christmas carols around the piano, playing card games with silly glasses on and maybe just maybe getting in a teeny tiny nap in the middle of the afternoon 🙂

card shark

I did want to do a little something special for all of you joining me here this week though.  I found this latest Taste of Home publication on the grocery store shelf this week and knew it would be perfect for a Menu Plan Monday giveaway today.  Anyone who enters a menu link into the Mr. Linky below before Wednesday, December 23rd at 9:00 pm will be entered to win.  I will chose the winner by random draw sometime after that.  Open to everyone who participates!  Thank you for joining me here week after week!

busy family recipes

My recipe highlight of last week is another super EASY appetizer recipe (it’s in the magazine above) that gets eaten up lickety split.  This recipe called, Italian Dipping Sticks, requires just a few simple ingredients and tastes delicious.

pizza dippers

This year for Christmas dinner my in-laws are preparing a rotisserie turkey and bringing it up to our home.  They also volunteered to do the potatoes as well.  Wow I wasn’t going to say no to that!  That just leaves me in charge of the stuffing, veggies (would love some ideas on this one), buns and dessert.  I think I should be able to handle that especially since I purchased a yummy apple pie from a church fundraiser 🙂

If you are looking for some cute Christmas menu planners to print and use be sure to check these ones out from Laura over at Heavenly Homemakers!

Here’s our menu this week…another simple one leading up to Christmas:

Monday: Appetizer party at a friend’s house…I’ll be bringing a delicious peppered cheese ball (a family favorite…I’ll post the recipe tomorrow)

Tuesday: Saucy Chicken Thighs

Wednesday: Thick & Rich Italian Spaghetti Sauce (I’ll make it in the morning and throw it into the crockpot)

Christmas Eve Thursday: Santa Pancakes! (how cute are these!)

Friday: Merry Christmas!  Land of Nod Cinnamon Buns for breakfast (so good!),  Slow Cooked Sausage Dressing + Golden Honey Pan Rolls (so yummy!) for dinner

Saturday: Next Day Turkey Soup

Simple Supper Sunday


Menu Plan Monday guidelines and banner selections are here.

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday


45 Responses to Menu Plan Monday ~ Dec 21st + giveaway!

  1. 1
    Rita says

    The dipping sticks look wonderful. My stomach’s growling tonight for some reason. Must be power of suggestion! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. 2
    DeAna says

    Hi Laura!
    I would suggest keeping it simple for your veggie dilemma. A veggie tray, or a tossed salad. Healthy, delicious, nutritious! 🙂

  3. 3
    Kayren says

    Merry Christmas, Laura!

  4. 4
    MemeGRL says

    What a great Christmas gift from your in-laws, to do turkey AND potatoes! I’m currently obsessed with brussels sprouts–link on my MPM from last week to my favorite and EASIEST preparation. My (US) Thanksgiving post has a link to a nifty cauliflower au gratin which was well-received. Seabrook Farms is my favorite frozen creamed spinach, which I am not above serving on a holiday (it’s that good) but it might be too local. Worth a look though! And the carrot mousse (recipe link on today’s post) is amazing. Finally, I’m looking forward to trying Nikki’s Sweet Potatoes from the 101 Cookbooks blog.
    Have a very merry Christmas and enjoy enjoy enjoy each other! Thank you for a great year and building such a wonderful community here!

  5. 5
    May says

    Merry Christmas, Laura!
    From the land down under….

  6. 6
    Leeann says

    Hi Laura,

    Just wanted to send a shout out of appreciation for you and your wonderful site. I will pray that your husband is able to find a job soon. I had to laugh at your cute photo of the silly glasses. When it comes down to it, you have your beautiful family and for that, it will be a marvelous Christmas season.


  7. 7
    The Happy Housewife says

    I just wanted to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. Thank you so much for hosting Menu Plan Monday each week. There have been some weeks that your carnival is the only reason I make a menu plan and stick with it! Thanks for encouraging all of us to get organized when it comes to our menus.
    I’ll be praying your husband is able to find soon.

  8. 8
    CaseyDeuce says

    Merry Merry!! As always, everything on your menu sounds delish!! I have to say thanks for hosting MPM each week, its kept me disciplined with making my weekly menu plans, sticking to a budget and saving us money. I appreciate what you do here!

  9. 9
    Jarnette says

    The appetizer recipe (Taste of Home…love their recipes!) is easy ~ I’ll have to keep that one in mind just for a fun bread alternate on an Italian meal night.

    As for veggie idea…maybe fresh steamed green beans with toasted almonds. Would make a nice colorful addition to the plate.

    Have a Merry Christmas…and thanks for the great giveaway this week…

    Blessings ~ Jarnette

  10. 10
    Gina says

    Those dipping sticks look like a great addition to our Christmas Eve tradition of appetizers-for-dinner. Yum! I wanted a veggie to go with all the carbs for Christmas dinner too, so I’m making a salad of mixed greens with cranberries and feta cheese. Simple, but it’ll be light and a nice contrast to all the heavy stuff.

    Hope you have a wonderful week, Laura. Thank you so much for keeping up with MPM. It’s such a wonderful resource and the highlight of my week!

  11. 11
    [email protected] Funk says

    Those Santa pancakes are so cute!

    We just did Christmas less, because we went on an all cash Christmas this year. Let me explain: before we used to rack up new debt with our credit cards. I didn’t want to incur new debt to pay off all year. So we chose to go cash only. And I have to say it’s been tough to not go crazy shopping this year. Then again, I guess breaking an old habit is never easy. It will be all so worth it. Happy Holidays! 🙂

    And I do hope your husband doesn’t face job loss.

  12. 12
    Amy says

    Hi Laura,

    Your site touches so many people – those trying to save time and money and feel a sense of peace in their week. You’ve made menu planning something that I really look forward to so thank you. 🙂 We’re feeling much the same as you this year… job loss and a definite reordering of priorities. There are small blessings among the uncertainty and stress of all that, and sometimes it takes going through this to see them.

    Have a very merry Christmas! Your menu looks yummy – I want to try the cinnamon rolls too. Thanks for the ideas as always!

  13. 13
    Laura says

    Thanks girls, you are all so sweet! And thanks for the veggie ideas. I especially love the cranberry and feta salad Gina, sounds yummy.

    Amy the cinnamon buns are so easy to make because you prepare them the night before. Delicious!

  14. 14
    Kelly says

    I haven’t tried this myself, but on mommy message board I talk on someone posted this:
    The bestest ever Cauliflower…………….
    Cut up a head of cauliflower (or take a bag of frozen)
    Put it in a large bowl with a lid, or a zip lock bag.
    Add about 5 tbsps (or enough to evenly cover when mixed) of olive oil.
    Add some salt. Simple. Shake the bowl to coat everything, or mush the bag so the oil and salt covers the cauliflower.
    Spread on a baking sheet, put in the oven at 425F for an hour, turning the cauliflower every 15 or so minutes.
    The cauliflower will carmalize………………
    It is so good! We eat it just like that! And the entire pan of it is GONE.

    And then someone else replied:
    Cool, I do that with broccoli and you can add cherry tomatoes too (just be careful as they take awhile to cool off), I also add a splash of lemon juice.

  15. 15
    Heather says

    I tried out a fantastic new veggie at Thanksgiving! Brussels Sprouts halved (2 lbs), about 6 shallots halved, 2 red barlett pears sliced, 10 sprigs of thyme. Toss the veggies/fruit with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread evenly over a cookie sheet, sprinkle thyme stalks over. Roast at 425 about 20-25 minutes. Looked lovely on the serving platter and tasted delicious!

  16. 17
    Laura says

    Heather they are just so cute, I think my kids will get such a kick out of them and maybe they’ll even become a new family tradition!

  17. 18
    Tamara says

    Mine is up and I am sticking to the stirfry theme. Merry Christmas to everyone.

  18. 19
    purple moose says

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  19. 20
    Nicole says

    My Christmas dinner veggie is green beans a la Outback steakhouse! They are the best green beans I’ve ever had, so I found a copycat recipe for them (and called my brother, who owns an outback…hehe). They are really simple! steam for 8 minutes, cold shock in ice water bath, then add butter, s&p, brown sugar, and garlic powder! (all to taste.)

  20. 22
    Brenda says

    Merry Christmas! Love your ideas and recipes. I hope that your husband will hear good news after his recent job search. That would certainly be a wonderful Christmas present for your family.

  21. 23
    Jessica says

    I might have to revise and try those Santa pancakes on Christmas EVE!! What a great idea!!!

  22. 24
    Angela says

    Laura, you are such an inspiration – thanks for always hosting Menu Plan Monday…. I often search for my own menu inspiration here!

    One of our family’s veggie faves is Swiss Beans – a variation on green bean casserole that everyone loves (and if you like Swiss cheese, you will too.)

    It’s nice to be able to focus on the simpler things of the holiday – and I hope and pray that soon your hubby gets good news on the job search!

  23. 25
    Rai says

    Just wanted to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas! I’ve have enjoyed participating in Menu Monday and enjoyed meal planning more than I thought I would. Have found it very helpful with the budget.

  24. 26
    Harmony says

    We have scaled back this Christmas too, just a few special gifts and less stress. That leaves more time to focus on what is important. Merry Christmas and hopefully a new job in the new year!

  25. 27
    Annie says

    Hey Girlfriend!!

    Love the glasses…they are so you! I can’t believe I haven’t gotten to see you…I’ll have to phone you today!!

  26. 29
    Stephanie says

    Those Santa pancakes are just way too cute! I hope your family has a very Merry Christmas!

  27. 31
    Julie says

    Yummy recipes!

  28. 32
    Becky L says

    I’m working on dinner for tonight and tomorrow. I’ve cut up and browned pork loin w/ red pepper and onion and into crockpot with seasoned beef broth (home made). Later gonna add stew veggies. Cooking up hamburger for chili for tomorrow night’s dinner which will be in crockpot. Wed-chicken soup and then Thurs we are eating pizza with our kids and grandbaby for Christmas eve (Papa Muphy’s take and bake….yum!!) Christmas is ham and potatoes and veggies.
    Have a great day and wonderful Christmas!!!

  29. 33
    Becky L says

    Gotta love those glasses, Laura….too cute…..and it’s Papa Murphy’s take and bake pizza…sorry for the misspell in entry above!!

  30. 34
    Amy says

    I echo the thoughts on the string beans. We saute fresh string beans in a little butter or EVOO and toss with toasted almonds. It’s simple, healthy, doesn’t take up oven space, and all the kids will eat green beans, can’t say that for other veggies. Glazed carrots is another favorite.

  31. 35
    Lauren says

    We tried the Land of Nod cinnamon rolls Thanksgiving weekend and we’re hooked! They are SO delicious and SO easy!
    Also, I wanted to share a tip for anyone having ham for Christmas dinner. I picked up take n’ bake pizzas and we’re going to chop up our leftover ham and make those for dinner the day after. Easy and different enough from the big ham dinner that no one will get burnt out on ham.

  32. 36
    Rebecca says

    My first week. 🙂

    I am still deliberating what we’ll do with our leftover ham. Maybe quiche.

  33. 37
    Trish says

    Merry Christmas! I am hoping to make pumpkin sticky buns for our Christmas morning breakfast, but I haven’t found the right recipe yet, so I may just wing it with the cinnamon roll recipe I have and see what happens. 🙂

  34. 38
    Melissa says

    Here’s a very easy and yummy recipe for green beans:

    3/4 lb. fresh green beans (I always use 1 lb. of frozen green beans and it turns out great!)
    1.5 cups water
    6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
    1 Tbsp. seasoned salt

    In a saucepan, combine beans and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the bacon and seasoned sale; simmer 10-15 minutes longer. Serve with a slotted spoon.

  35. 39
    Melissa says

    I also wanted to commend you on your attitude for this holiday season. I think you have the right focus of remembering the real reason why we are celebrating and for keeping time with the family at the heart of it all.

    Here’s hoping and praying that your husband finds a position soon.

  36. 40
    Cara says

    Merry Christmas!! Taste of Home is one of my favorites!

  37. 41
    ~Spider~ says

    Merry Christmas! (I’m glad you were able to enjoy a nap!)

  38. 42
    Pamela says

    I loved the Appetizer Wreath you posted last week! I changed my ideas for a potluck and took that instead. It was a huge hit. Thanks for the great menu planning suggestions!

  39. 43
    Tricia says

    I check here often and am always inspired. Thanks!

  40. 44
    Susanne says

    We love dipping bread sticks around here but have never had homemade ones. I’m so trying these for New Years!

  41. 45
    Julie Anne says

    How do I remove a post to MPM?? guess the wrong post got submitted ?? I don’t know how, I thought I was doing the right process lol yep, kinda a newbie…..Julie


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